Debut Author Spotlight is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Jan lives in Maine with her husband of twenty years and their two teenage sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age but has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine. She brought a mixture of all her experiences to her first published novel, blending castles and Celtic lore with the wild nature of her home.
RELEASE DATE: 24th Sept 2013 | PUBLISHER: ACE
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Like father, like son… Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father – a man who can change into a wolf. Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—-an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.
When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…
What is Celtic Moon about?
Celtic Moon is the first book in my Celtic Wolves series using Celtic mythology as the foundation for my fantasy world. My former day job was partially to blame for providing me with this inspiration. At the time I worked in the cataloging department of my library when a book on Celtic artifacts came across my desk. It reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art, with depictions of humans transforming into animals. Intrigued, I dove into researching Celtic mythology and found more material than I could possibly imagine on wolves and shape shifting. Let’s just say my paranormal writer’s radar was dinging loudly.
Celtic Moon was born when I began to wonder…
What if this immortal race of shape shifters actually existed in present day? And, even better, what if they were gorgeous Celtic warriors? Since wolves have become extinct in their homeland, where would they have migrated over the years? And just to make things interesting, what if their race was dying? What if they were losing their ability to shift into a wolf with each new generation? How would a dominant race of immortal shifters react to their loss of power? My characters emerged soon after, demanding a place in this magical world. As always, they arrived with their own set of questions and choices. What if a woman, a human, met one of these warriors and had an affair, unaware of his secret? What if she conceived his child? What if he kept her guarded, protected, forcing her to remove all ties from her old life without giving her just cause? How would a modern woman react, if forced to choose among freedom, love, and the safety of her child? Mine chooses freedom and her child, not love—that is until fifteen years later, when she can no longer deny that her son has inherited more of his father than she had hoped. For the sake of her son, she returns to his father for help, unaware of an impending war brewing between the very creatures she ran away from all those years ago. Only this time she is not the same woman they once knew; she has learned how to protect herself and those she loves most—quite well, in fact. But can an ancient warrior forgive her for leaving with his son? And now that she’s returned, can his wolf resist his mate? More importantly, what if this human woman has given birth to the first shifter in over three hundred years?
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in Celtic Moon
I will try to keep this short because I think I covered them in the last question. Dylan is an ancient Celtic warrior. His race of immortal shape shifters has existed in secret for over two thousand years. Sophie is his human wife and the mother of his teenage son. They have been separated due to some brutal circumstances; therefore both have valid motivations for their actions. However, they are forced to come together for the sake of their son—even with the dangers that surround them. Conflict is always a balance, but Sophie’s modern independent attitude vs. Dylan’s need to protect and provide was a fun dynamic to play with. Also, I love stories about couples who reunite in spite of the odds against them.
How did you research Celtic Moon?
I have been very fortunate with this aspect because I have worked in an amazing library for over a decade, so my research material was literally at my fingertips—and it was extensive. My series is based on actual human history and their folklore, with some terminology derived from medieval manuscripts. However, I worked very hard to weave the history into my character’s voices and actions, and not to inundate my story with historical references. I am a character driven writer, and I can assure you that my characters quickly took control of this ride.
Is Celtic Moon the first in a series or a stand alone novel?
Celtic Moon, Dylan and Sophie’s story, is the first book in the Celtic Wolves series. Luc and Rosa’s story is the second book, and Elen and Cormack’s will be the third. My series has a very strong romantic element that focuses on different character’s love story in each book, while the fantasy element is continual.
When and where is your favourite time/place to write?
In my office, just as soon as I can get my husband and sons out of the house.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always been a prolific reader, but the dream to actually write my own book first came to mind during my last year in college. Family and work demanded my time for a while. Once my boys entered school, I pulled out a notebook and pen and began to write my first romantic suspense. After two chapters we bought our first computer. Five novels and ten years later, I wrote Celtic Moon.
What was the last book you enjoyed and why?
Okay, did I mention that until very recently I worked in a library? I love to talk about good books! I really can’t limit this answer to just one, so I will go by my favorite genres…
Fantasy: I’m currently reading A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. I read A Game of Thrones about ten years ago. Epic, is the first word that comes to mind. Martin’s character development is phenomenal. I love HBO’s adaptation, but felt I missed important story elements in Season Two without reading the second book in the series beforehand, so I want to finish book three before this season comes out on DVD. I’ve heard the “Red Wedding” was quite something.
Romantic Suspense: The Search by Nora Roberts—this woman is amazing! The Search is Nora at her best, especially if you love dogs. And the lead protagonists are simply perfect!
Historical Romance: A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant—this book was a lot of fun. There were moments I laughed out loud. It is a poignant and witty read.
Paranormal Romance: Time Weaver by Shana Abe—I adore Abe’s writing style.
Contemporary/Women’s Fiction: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen—I loved all of Addison’s books, but this one was the last I read. I am anxiously awaiting her new novel.
Horror/Literary/Paranormal Fiction: The Taker by Alma Katsu—it’s original, compelling, haunting, and well written.
Urban Fantasy: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs was on my “to read” pile forever and I finally picked it up. I absolutely loved the lead character, and I have heard from many library patrons that the series only gets better.
Which authors do you admire?
The ones who come to mind first, with apologies to those I have forgotten and will remember just as soon as I post this…
Charlotte Bronte, for paving the way for other tenacious female authors; Jude Deveraux, who wrote the very first romance novel I ever read, and who is still writing amazing novels; Sarah Addison Allen, simply because I have read every single one of her books in one sitting and would not change a single word or character in any one of them; Nora Roberts, for her work ethic and consistency; J.K. Rowling, who lured our youth (and many adults) away from screens and video games and back to the joy of reading.
Describe yourself in five words.
Curious, imaginative, artistic, compassionate, and loyal.
The second book in my Celtic Wolves series, Luc and Rosa’s story.
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